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Is it worth fixing?

It depends!  It's hard to tell without seeing it.  If your equipment sat all winter and does not run, it can generally be fixed for between $90 -130 (plus parts).  If your mower/edger/chipper is in good shape and costs more than that to replace, it's probably worth fixing.  If your equipment has sentimental value, that's hard to put a price on.


Bent crankshaft's can be straightened and may be worth fixing on a newer mower.  Lack of compression can be a simple issue or massive internal engine failure.  Head gaskets are worth replacing.  Broken connecting rod and scored cylinder walls usually aren't worth fixing. Everything can be fixed, but massive internal engine issues may not be cost effective depending on the machine.  A compression and cylinder leak down test can diagnose most things, but that's hard to do over the phone.  I can perform diagnostic tests to exactly identify your issues which generally cost $40.  Those costs will be deducted from any authorized repairs. 

What do small engines dislike?

Small engines dislike: old gas, 2 stroke gas in the 4 cycle engines, cheap filters, dusty conditions, dirt, grass, critters nests in the cooling fins / blower housing, and moisture.  Too much, too little, or the wrong viscosity of oil can ruin your engine.  Dull blades make your engine work harder.  Unbalanced blades prematurely wear out engines (mowers run at 3600 RPM).  Outdoor equipment takes a tremendous amount of abuse which is why Briggs and Stratton recommends servicing your engine annually, or every 40 hours.   

Why do you prefer to check-in equipment with customers present?

I will spend five to ten minutes with you at check-in reviewing your machine.  My goal is to identify the issues and needed repairs so you can make an informed decision about the work you want done. I don't like surprise costs and I do not like telling people about surprise costs.  I will fully explain what I'm doing, specifically why I'm doing it, and all replaced parts will be available for inspection / returned. 

What's wrong with $10 carburetors, $1 air filters, 50 cent oil, and 25 cent spark plugs?

Why spend $40 to rebuild a $100-150 factory carburetor when you can buy a new aftermarket carb for $10 on EBay or Amazon?  They look so similar...  Aftermarket parts are a mixed bag. Some are fine. Most are not. You can't tell the difference by looking at them.  For example, I can rebuild most factory carburetors in 30 minutes (after they've been in the ultrasonic cleaner for an hour).  I can also spend 4 hours re-jetting and re-adjusting an aftermarket carb and still not be 100% right.  "Mostly works" is not the standard I aspire to in my repairs.  With most things, you get what you pay for.  I absolutely support being fiscally responsible, but in my opinion this is not the place to save a few bucks.  Equipment is expensive, your time is valuable, use the parts that were designed for your machine.    

Other than fuel issues, abrasive ingestion, over heating, and lubrication failure are the leading causes of engine failure.  When you use the best oil and filters, and maintain your machine, you protect your investment and get the fullest life out of it.             

What is routine maintenance?

Briggs and Stratton (and most manufacturers)  recommends routine annual maintenance or maintenance every 40 hours, whichever comes first.  This keeps your equipment running well (oil, filter, plug, clean fins, lube, and adjust) and maximizes the life of your equipment. 

What is repair work?

You service equipment to keep it running strong.  You repair equipment that's not running right.  Why did a $90 service turn into a $130 repair?  If your equipment is surging, takes more than three pulls to start, idles really rough, only runs with the choke on, and you're 100% sure you put good gas in it, the carburetor probably needs a deep cleaning /rebuild off the engine.  Rebuilds are also likely if you've never had your equipment serviced before, use ethanol gas, stored gas in it for a prolonged period of time, or it will not start.  This goes beyond a normal service.  Most carbs can be rebuilt in 30 minutes (I don't count the time in the ultrasonic cleaner).  Often, gaskets are damaged when removed.  Usually you don't need a full rebuild kit, just $10-$20 in gaskets and a deep clean to make it run like new.  Low-hour generators that have not run in 3 to 15 years usually need a full rebuilt kit which often takes more time, but your generator will run like new afterwards.     

Clogged chippers can take more time, as do seized self-propelled mowers, seized lines, cables, gears, rusty or sheared nuts and bolts.  All these things are repairable. 

Cracked or unsafe blades will not be reinstalled (This is very rare).   I can sharpen any blade and it will cut better, but anything missing over 3/4 of an inch of metal on the leading edge is due for replacement.  Blades should come to a 90 degree angle.  Performance drops the shorter the blade becomes.  I'm happy to install a new blade you buy from HomeDepot or one you purchase from me during a tune-up. Either way, I balance all new blades prior to installation.   

What do I not repair?

I don't rebuild pressure washer pumps because I cannot guarantee the work.  Why?  Pump rebuild kits are expensive and if dirt was pumped through it prior to the rebuild, micro imperfections will lead to another premature failure.  I do stock high quality brass 3000PSI pumps that fit most vertical and horizontal shaft pressure washers as an alternative.

I do not rebuild aftermarket carburetors.  OEM parts do not always fit, they leak, and run poorly in a few months.  If you replaced your factory carb and still have it, I would be happy to rebuild it and re-install it.    


What payments do I accept?

We accept all major debit and credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Local Personal Checks. 

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